“Sex workers and punters must wear masks at all times”

The Group of Experts responsible for Belgium’s Exit Strategy from the lockdown has reached agreement with representatives of sex workers with a view to guaranteeing safe working conditions.  Sex workers and their customers must always use a mouth mask and give their face and hands an extra wash.

Everything that isn’t banned, can proceed and as prostitution isn’t included in any government restrictions it’s back to work for Belgium’s sex workers, though local municipalities can still impose local limitations.  In Antwerp sex workers are only allowed to ply their trade from next Monday, while Sint-Joost-ten-Node (Brussels) has imposed a blanket ban.

Wendy Gabriëls of Violett, an organisation that offers support, says many sex workers have mixed feelings about the resumption.  “Many sex workers are scared of the risk of being infected.  Others are relieved given the present economic uncertainty.  Many people haven’t been able to sign up for corona support measures and have a difficult time behind them.”

In future disposable sheets will be used.  Sex workers and their clients are advised to take a shower before and after.  Kissing isn’t permitted as masks need to be worn.  Condoms are required for oral sex too. Mattress covers need to be replaced or disinfected at every go. Customers displaying symptoms won’t be accepted.  There will be no systematic testing for coronavirus among sex workers.  Tests are reserved for sex workers with symptoms.

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